Victoria Silvstedt is a beautiful model who has made quite the name for herself ever since she started with Playboy. The tall blonde used the "Bunny" to expand her web of opportunities, and with her gorgeous face and beautiful body, those opportunities came rolling in. In the late 1990s, this curvaceous beauty lit up the pages of Playboy as she captured both the Playmate of the Month honors for December 1996 and carried her momentum to Playmate of the Year honors for all of 1997. Victoria's journey didn't start in the United States. In fact, many consider Victoria one of Sweden's natural treasures. And this European goddess certainly shines like a treasure.
Victoria's journey is nothing less than remarkable as she went from a promising young athlete, competing at the highest levels in her sport, to emerging as one of her country's most beautiful young women. What was more extraordinary was that Victoria was a tomboy growing up. She was all about sports, but when she grew into her adult figure, there was no shortage of attention drawn to her beauty. As she competed in sports, she also competed in pageants. Her beauty catapulted her into the spotlight. She would catch the watchful eye of Hugh Hefner, and that would lead to her Playboy pictorial. Victoria has taken her share of bumps and bruises along the way, but she has persevered amidst a sea of jealousy to become one of the most popular iconic beauties in her native Sweden. Let's take a look at some of her most beautiful pictures and her journey to success.
15 Beauty vs. Athleticism
A crazy thing was going one while Victoria was becoming one of her nation's most valuable alpine skiers; she grew up into a beautiful young woman. Victoria's beauty started to shine at the same time her athletic skills came to the forefront. This made for some difficult choices as she got older. She was skiing as a teenager to make a run at her nation's Olympic team while at the same time killing it in beauty pageants. Victoria wasn't just a decent skier either. Her father coached her and pushed her hard. She enjoyed participating in a number of athletic activities although skiing seemed to always win out with her natural athletic abilities taking over. But this ski bunny had other career paths to step into as she continued to mature.
14 End of the Competitive Athlete
Victoria was an athletic kid. She not only was beautiful and participated in skiing on the slopes, but she also enjoyed horseback riding. Her love for horses was a reason why Victoria was looking forward to being a veterinarian when she grew up. She was also a fierce competitor on the slopes. In 1989, a 15-year-old Victoria nabbed 4th place at a youth championship in the giant slalom competition. But as is the case with many serious athletes, Victoria suffered a bad fall and a serious shoulder injury at just the age of 16. The injury would end Victoria’s skiing career. A lot of young athletes would feel crushed by this, but Victoria was already looking toward another career avenue -- or at least her family was, on her behalf.
13 Victoria Blows Up
Victoria was already a model on the rise. She was well in demand when Playboy came knocking. Playboy featured her in December of 1996 and then awarded her the 1997 Playmate of the Year honor. She was gaining more and more popularity, but some of it made things difficult in the modeling world. Other models were jealous of the attention Victoria got from Playboy. They began to look down upon her and make her life more difficult. Nevertheless, in addition to her pictorials, Victoria landed more jobs with other Playboy magazine outlets, various Playboy Special Editions and, of course, Playboy Videos. In addition to her numerous appearances with Playboy, Victoria landed the big-time contract as a Guess? spokesmodel. Victoria dominated the 2000s with appearances in numerous magazines: FHM, Glamour, GQ, Hello!, Maxim, and Vanity Fair. Victoria was an international triumph.
12 The Acting Itch
Victoria was getting quite a bit of attention for what she was doing. She was doing a tremendous job throughout the world as a big-time supermodel. But she had visions beyond just being photographed. Victoria wanted to showcase her incredible personality and jumped into a variety of movie appearances. She was able to nab a few different Hollywood feature-film appearances in the late 90s. She appeared in the television show Malibu, CA. She jumped into big comedy films like BASEketball, The Independent, Out Cold, and Boat Trip. Victoria also appeared in a Miami-based soap opera, Ocean Ave, that was broadcast in both Sweden and Florida. It was clear that Victoria was making a big impact in the entire entertainment community, and she wasn't done.
11 Beauty First
Fortunately for Victoria, despite her athletic injuries putting an end to her budding skiing career, she had other "assets" to display. Victoria was a stunning beauty. Both her sister and her mother believed that Victoria could have a career as a model. On a hunch, they sent in pictures of Victoria so she could be considered to be part of the Miss Sweden competition. Incredibly, the pictures sent in turned out to be a big opportunity for Victoria. She ended up getting chosen to represent her country in the Miss World Competition in 1993 in Sun city, South Africa. She made quite an impact and made the top 10 in the competition. Her appearance helped launch her modeling career, and she hasn't looked back since.
10 The Model Emerges
Victoria came out of the 1993 Miss World pageant as a solidified model. She had a long list of new fans. Victoria was rushed off to Paris and signed by a modeling agency. Her statuesque body and figure were eye-popping. Her 5-foot, 11-inch frame made her the perfect height for a model. Her incredible blonde hair was striking, and her bust was even more eye-popping with her 36D chest and her 25" waist causing onlookers' mouths to drop to the floor. Make no mistake about it: Victoria was a beauty that immediately became in demand. She became a darling for a wide variety of big-time fashion houses. The impressive list included: Chanel, Valentino, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Givenchy, and Loris Azzaro. Victoria became a key cog for many of the companies in their advertisements and fashion shows.
9 Victoria's Childhood
Deep in the northern outskirts of Sweden is a place known as Skelleftea. The small town is the birthplace of Victoria Silvstedt. Her town was so far north that 3 months out of the year, she would enjoy what is known as the "midnight sun." This is when it's dark for all 24 hours of the day. Victoria grew up a rough and tough tomboy who loved to ski. She began alpine skiing at the tender age of 5, and she loved every minute of it. Today, we see a gorgeous platinum-blonde beauty with blue eyes and an hourglass figure. But as a child, Victoria liked to challenge herself and loved sports. Keying in on skiing, she made the sport the centerpiece of her childhood. She spent many hours on the slopes, and her efforts started to pay off. She became one of the top young female skiers in all of Sweden.
8 Hello, Hef
Hugh Hefner hasn't built an entire empire by accident. He is always actively searching for the next great thing. After Victoria's triumph in the 1993 Miss World Competition, she traveled the world modeling. The exposure led to a fateful meeting between herself and Hefner in 1996. Hugh extended an offer to Victoria. He wanted her to take a test shoot, and she couldn't wait to oblige. She was excited to dip her foot into the Playboy pool. She headed out to Los Angeles, California to do a test shoot. She was so impressive that she became Playmate of the Month for December 1996. Victoria clearly impressed the entire Playboy audience because she became Playmate of the Year for 1997. Victoria was well on her way toward success.
7 International Sensation
Victoria was exploding all across the globe. Her talent and looks were getting her far in her travels. She wasn't simply just a model whom people loved to stare at. However, in the United States, a lot of her appearances in feature films had her as a supporting figure. In Europe, though, Victoria was able to spread her wings. She evolved into a star in Italian cinema. Victoria was given leading roles in films. She appeared in British and French films as well. Europe loved Victoria. Victoria tried her luck in dramatic plays in the US. She spent some time in an off-Broadway production, Pieces (of Ass) while it was on its 2004 run in Los Angeles. Victoria continued to evolve in the entertainment business.
Since the 1990s, Victoria has made sure she got as much exposure as possible. With her stunning looks and growing reputation, she was able to land quite a few presenting opportunities which got her in front of mass audiences. Victoria was asked to fly all around the world just to be a spokesperson or presenter. She has hosted a wide variety of shows, such as the CBS show Candid Camera, NBC's Eurotrash and E!'s Wild On. She appeared as an awards presenter on NRJ and the World Music Awards. She also was asked to be a celebrity judge on the show Project Catwalk. This was just the tip of the iceberg as Victoria was not just a model that was in demand; she was an entertainer that was steadily working all avenues of the business.
5 Victoria...The Singer???
Listen, everyone has dreams. As a kid growing up, we all have goals and dreams we hope to conquer some day. Many of us don't have the means or the reputation to conquer such goals. Victoria, however, certainly did. She was an entity known throughout the entire world. With that, she was afforded some opportunities in fields she had yet to conquer. In 1999, she jumped right into the singing industry with hopes of scoring some success. She was all about dance music. Her album, Girl on the Run, launched three separate singles. "Hello Hey," "Rocksteady Love," and "Party Line" were the three releases from the original album. Victoria took over 10 years to follow up her initial release with the 2010 release of her fourth single entitled "Saturday Night." Although Victoria isn't going to be coming to a stadium near you anytime soon, she did get a gold album in her native Sweden for the original 1999 release.
Victoria wasn't done with broadening her horizons. She had more to check off o her bucket list. She already was singing, acting, and modeling. But modeling clothes can give you a lot of ideas. The most successful models turn their names into brands. And that is exactly what Victoria Silvstedt did. She went from wearing the clothing to designing them. She stepped into the one business she knew she could easily conquer, lingerie. Her Very Victoria Silvstedt lingerie was launched in 2006 at London Fashion Week. Her Very Victoria Silvstedt brand came shortly after. Her brand was launched in collaboration with the Marie Meili brand in 2013, once again, in Paris, France. Victoria officially graduated to become a businesswoman.
3 Reality TV
Victoria has been on a roll ever since her appearance in Playboy. She was in such demand; she was all over the place. As reality television exploded, it was a natural progression for her to appear in reality television shows. She launched her own reality television series in 2008. It appeared on E! television as the show Victoria Silvstedt: My Perfect Life. It was a simple progression for her and her fans. The reality show chronicling her life has been seen all around the world from the Americas to Asia. The first season of the show focused on Victoria's day-to-day life, both professional and personal. The show followed her to some of the greatest places around the world: cities such as Paris, Rome, Monaco, London, Stockholm, Los Angeles, and New York. More recently, in 2016, Victoria appeared in a Swedish reality television series.
2 The Personal Side of Things
Victoria somehow managed a personal life as her career was skyrocketing. Her career required a tremendous dedication of time, which is part of the reason things got difficult for her. In 1997, Victoria met Chris Wragge. He was interviewing her for Entertainment Tonight. She was really just coming into her own, a model about to become "Super" and a future star in the making. It didn't take long for the two to become engaged, the bond being forged on Christmas Eve 1998. The two married in 2000 and lived in Santa Monica, California and Houston, Texas until eventually finding their way to New York in 2004. Victoria was so busy, and Wragge was moving forward in the nighttime news world at the same time. They grew apart and separated in 2007, eventually divorcing.
1 Victoria's Success
Victoria is a rarity in the entertainment world. She is one of a few Playboy Playmates who didn't just forge a career and rely on the "Bunny." She was a successful young model before she entered the Playboy Mansion. And she walked out just as popular, if not more so, and continued to achieve tremendous success. Victoria co-wrote her own autobiography. She has learned over the years to speak English, French, Italian and, of course, her native Swedish. She took her stab at marriage, but that didn't work out. Victoria conquered both the movie and television industries while pushing into music and writing. She is now a businesswoman with a brand that has allowed her to further develop her talents and her name. She has lived a life in which Sweden and most of Europe treat her like royalty. Make no mistake about it, Victoria is a worldwide sensation. She has built a successful career that looked like a distant light when, as a 16-year-old, her hopes of making the Olympic team were dashed by an injury. This beauty is simply success personified.
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